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TOKYO OLYMPICS: Opening Ceremony Like Never Before

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The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are officially opened in a near-empty 68 thousand capacity stadium. Despite the wave of Coronavirus pandemic bedeviling Japan the host country, there were still spectacular displays of fireworks at Japan’s national stadium.

As it is the culture with the Olympics tradition, there were displays of national flags, limited numbers of country by country parade of athletes, and aesthetics showcasing of the rich culture and national identity of Japan the host nation, most of which were pre-recorded. There was also live segments performance with a small VIP audience, all adhering to social distancing.

In her welcome address, the president of Tokyo 2020 Seiko Hashimoto says she ‘hopes the Olympics will offer a moment of peace for people whose lives are far from peaceful’.

Meanwhile, the peak of the opening event was tennis star Naomi Osaka lighting the Olympic cauldron. More than 11,000 athletes from 200 nations will be competing without spectators at the Olympics stadium with unprecedented restrictions, and the stadium was really very different scenes from what we used to know of opening ceremonies.

Only around 1000 people attended the opening ceremony with most of the teams wearing masks as they came out to represent their countries. Several athletes from the countries of Kurdistan Pakistan and CGK Stan were seen entering the stadium without wearing facial masks, which is a clear contravention of the strict rules and regulations of the games and could attract a ban from the organizer.

However, some performances at the opening took a rather symbolic tone, like a lone runner on a treadmill.

About 80% of Japanese say they are against holding games amidst threats from the pandemic, as protesters rally near the venue to voice their opposition to the games.

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